Chow Thai in Boca Raton, FL – A Favorite Among Vegan Diners!

23034 Sandalfoot Plaza Dr
Boca Raton, FL 33428
Visit the Website:
Chow Thai
(561) 487-8414

So there we were, my running partner, Mark, and I, scrambling to find a restaurant to accommodate our specific tastes on a Friday night.  With no long run scheduled for the next morning, we were looking for something somewhat exotic and spicy.  We contemplated the trendy and overpriced Japanese place up the street and then decided on the all-you-can-eat Japanese place nearby for the same value.  Much to our dismay, it had closed so we were at a loss.  Then it suddenly occurred to me…a few blocks north of us, on S.R. 7 or 441, just south of Palmetto Park Rd. , in South Boca Raton, FL, there is a Thai restaurant that the local vegan Meet up group raves about.  I know, I know, Thai food isn’t typically vegan friendly, with either fish or oyster sauce present in most, if not all of their dishes, sauces and dressings, not to mention egg in the Pad Thai.  I had eaten at this very place a few years back and I did indeed enjoy it.  With my palate being even more refined, I thought, why not revisit this establishment, long hallowed by discerning vegan patrons.
Chow Thai Vegetable Soup

Chow Thai Vegetable Soup

Chow Thai is not your average local Thai joint.  Chef/owner, popularly referred to as Artie by her adoring fans, opened this little gem in 2007.  The pride she takes in her work is apparent, from the cuisine to the decor.  She has a deep appreciation for those who follow a vegan lifestyle and aims to please! Chow Thai even has a whole menu page dedicated to vegetarian dishes. The place that night was bustling but lucky for us, there were still a few open tables.  We were warmly greeted but the temperature inside was rather chilly.  The staff was more than happy to adjust the thermostat.  Our food server was very friendly, professional and extremely knowledgeable regarding vegan fare.  Besides the vegan Meet up’s frequent visits, he was thrilled to report that there are many vegan regulars…music to my ears!!! Rest assured, “vegetarian” is NOT misused/misinterpreted here.  They mean it when they say that there are no hidden animal ingredients, all dishes are made to order and that just about anything can be made vegan (aside from the traditional Thai meat dishes).
Chow Thai Brown Rice
For starters, Mark tried the hot Thai spice tea, $1.95, which was presented in an elegant glass mug.  Mark was pleasantly surprised at how fragrant and flavorful it was.  Some Thai restaurants overcharge for their teas and even charge for refills.  But not here…they were quick to offer refills all night!  As tempting as that was, he stopped at 2 to make room for the delicious, savory vegetable Tom Yum soup, for $4.50,  I had the vegetable soup for $3.95, no chicken broth here but rather an abundance of fresh vegetables in harmony with a smooth, sweet and tangy broth. Just how does she do that?
Chow Thai Hot Spiced Tea

Chow Thai Hot Spiced Tea

For an appetizer, we chose the sweet potato puffs, having absolutely no idea what that could me in terms of Thai cuisine.  Presented before us were 5 puff pastry squares filled with a delicate sweet potato filling laced with sweet exotic spices.  Unfortunately, the filling was a little cold while the pastry was quick fried just right.  Our server apologized and quickly replaced the golden morsels with warmer ones, served with a sweet dipping sauce made with fresh red onions, cukes and red peppers.  I had honestly not tasted anything like that before… a real treat!
Chow Thai Sweet Potato Puffs

Chow Thai Sweet Potato Puffs

Mark ordered the Panang Curry, starting at $14.95 but adding tofu and brown rice jumped it up to $17.95.  Still a bargain for the quality and flavor of the dish, made with smooth coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, bell pepper, sweet peas, ground peanut and lightly fried tofu (Mark runs so he can eat fried tofu if he wants, and he’s NOT even vegan, or vegetarian for that matter).
Chow Thai Panang Curry

Chow Thai Panang Curry

Kudos to him for choosing plant-based with all the other menu options.  Served with a side of brown rice in the shape of a star, the real rock stars here were the entrees!  I absolutely fell in love with my Noodle Delight (sorry Mark) for $12.95, consisting of tender bean thread noodles with nutty and firm tempeh ($2 extra) and assorted fresh vegetables. I detected a hint of garlic, among other spices and herbs.  How many Thai restaurants (or any ethnic places),  offer tempeh, a fermented soy protein with less isoflavones than soy (that’s a good thing) and a very interesting texture?  I was beyond impressed!  The portion was so generous that I handed it over to Mark to finish off, who liked it almost as much as his and I practically licked his plate clean of that highly addictive curry sauce..
Chow Thai Noodle Delight

Chow Thai Noodle Delight

Needless to say, we were stuffed like puff pastries, leaving us with no room for dessert.  We don’t typically order dessert anyway, since our savory teeth seem to dominate. I do believe, however, that Chow Thai may have vegan ice cream (perhaps coconut) available, not on the menu.  Artie, with a rare talent for her craft, would definitely be able to whip up something worthwhile since vegans deserve to have their cake and eat it too, don’t they???
No lie, Mark, a non-vegan, declared Chow Thai his “favorite restaurant ever!”  That might possibly be true, but just to make sure, we will have to go again very soon.
Well… gotta run for now.  Until next time,
Andrea earned an MS degree from The University of Florida and is a mom to 3 incredible sons. She works as an independent Speech and Language Pathologist within a diverse population in the Northwest Broward County, FL area. She LOVES to plan destination marathons (when budget allows) where she get to visit new cities and discover fab vegan/veg friendly restaurants/cafes/markets. Andrea has been a vegetarian for over 20 years, vegan for about 10. “It’s very exciting to see how society is beginning to truly embrace veganism for improved health, animal welfare and a greener environment!” she exalts. Andrea has developed a blog (book in the making) for vegan female endurance/hard core fitness athletes a.k.a.VeGAL (Vegan Girl AthLetes). Andrea’s territory is all of South Florida!  Contact Andrea to review your favorite veg-friendly restaurants within her territory.

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